Monday, 9 June 2014

Picture of the Day: Panda-monium

The panda invasion begins today in Hong Kong until July 17
They're here! Today 1,600 papier mache pandas arrived at Hong Kong International Airport, then visit 10 sites like the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Ma Wan, Victoria Park and Statue Square until June 21, before occupying PMQ in Sheung Wan from June 24 to July 17.

The pandas have already visited places like France, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands since 2008.

French artist Paulo Grangeon created the critters, each one representing a real one, captive or in the wild, which is not a lot.

Sculptor Paulo Grangeron at the airport with his 1,600 pandas
The traveling exhibition called 1600 Pandas is part of a fundraising campaign by the WWF to raise awareness about the plight of the cuddly black and white animal.

"If all humans die, all animals will survive with the earth," said Grangeon. "But if all animals die, the earth and humans will disappear."

He said that back in 2008, Serge Orru, then director of WWF in France asked him to create the panda sculptures.

"As a sculptor, I made art and showed it to only 100 people at a gallery. But now, these pandas have inspired many to help the environment," Grangeron said.

They are made from recycled paper in Thailand and environmentally-friendly paint, and over 10,000 have been made, as some are "adopted" for fundraising for a modest fee.

In Hong Kong there are three sizes and two shapes to choose from with "adoption" prices ranging from HK$200 to HK$450.

The panda flash mob has already visited Paris...
Alternatively the public can make their own pandas for HK$188 which will be exhibited and once the show is over, they can take home their pandas.

This panda project is a great follow-up to the Rubber Duck that came last year at this time, except here there is a strong environmental message and encouraging people to interact and take part.

Sixteen hundred papier mache pandas may look like a lot, but in reality that's not a lot of pandas on the planet. We hope more will be born in the wild and not be raised in captivity because the less they depend on us the better.

By the same token we should not be encroaching too much on their habitat and let them be.

Only through greater awareness can we create change.

Now how can I "adopt" a panda...

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